Stereography, Or, A Compleat Body Of Perspective, In all its Branches. Teaching to describe, by Mathematical Rules, The Appearances of Lines, Plain Figures, and Solid Bodies, Rectilinear, Curvilinear, and Mixed, in all manner of Positions. Together with their Projections or Shadows, And Their Reflections by Polished Planes. The Whole performed by Uniform, Easy, and General Methods, For the most Part entirely New. In Seven Books. By J. Hamilton, Esq; F.R.S. In Two Volumes. Vol. I.

John Hamilton F.R.S.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Compleat Body Of Perspective


London,: Printed for the Author, By W. Bowyer, in White Fryars, near the Temple, and Sold by S. Austen, at the Angel and Bible in St. Paul's Church-Yard., MDCCXXXVIII.

Physical Description

[16], 400 p., 130 pl. (all fold.); 400 mm. (Folio).


[T.p., dedic.] - Preface - An Abstract Of The Principal Matters contained in the following Work; Directions to the Book-binder, for inserting the Plates; Errata - A Table Of The Principal Matters Contained in this Work; Errata in the Table - A List Of The Subscribers Names; [further Errata] - [Text, with plates].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as engraved by J. Mynde, except pl. 12, 51, 65, 85, 86, 89, 105, 107. The dedication headpiece is also signed as engraved by him.

The work is dedicated by the author to Sir Joseph Jekyll.


M. Kemp, The science of art: optical themes in western art (1992); P. Descargues, Perspective: history, evolution, techniques (1982).
ESTC, T102273 [describing an issue in two volumes]

Summary Note

In his Stereography Hamilton adapts and expands many of the ideas of Brook Taylor, whom he admired. Declaring that the painter should cultivate the 'art' rather than the 'sense' of seeing, he quickly moves into regions beyond the concerns of most artists. Turner is known to have been familiar with this work; most artists probably preferred the more accessible manuals of Joshua Kirby and Thomas Malton.


Acquired by the Academy before 1784: inscribed in ink on title page, 'Given by G. Barret RA'.

Copy Note

Page 34 carries marginal notes in pencil by an unidentified hand.

Binding Note

18th-century calf; rebacked in 20th century, red morocco spine-label lettered 'Hamilton's Stereography'.


Perspective - Stereographic projection - History
Manuals - Instructional materials - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


James Mynde, 1702-1771, engraver
William Bowyer the younger, printer
Stephen Austen, bookseller
George Barret RA, previous owner, donor
Sir Joseph Jekyll, dedicatee